Rapid urbanisation and surging growth in new transport infrastructure is transforming the face of surface transport in Africa, placing the continent on the fast track to becoming one of the world's most significant markets for vehicles and auto parts.
Investment of US$30 billion into developing road and rail systems is expected to boost inter-regional trade and travel across Africa, which currently has 21.6 million passenger vehicles, according to global analysts Frost & Sullivan.
Additionally, demand for auto parts in the continent (excluding South Africa) is expected to grow 11 per cent annually to reach US$15.3 billion by 2020, making it a high-value prize for global automotive aftermarket leaders.
Many of these will be formulating their African outreach strategies around their presence at the upcoming Automechanika Dubai 2015, the leading international automotive aftermarket trade platform serving the Middle East, Africa, Central and South Asia.
Taking place from 2-4 June 2015 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Automechanika Dubai will put more than 1,700 exhibitors firmly in the cross-roads of thousands of potential trade buyers from the burgeoning African market.
“More than 2,700 trade buyers from Africa visited Automechanika Dubai 2014 and we expect a double digit growth of this number for 2015,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, organiser of Automechanika Dubai.
“Automechanika Dubai's comprehensive reach into trans-continental markets is what has made the show a must-attend for the international automotive aftermarket community
“Being at Automechanika Dubai enables international majors to do business in markets that are otherwise hard to access. African markets are growing rapidly and we are witnessing a rising number of leading aftermarket brands beginning to engage with them,” Pauwels added.
According to Frost & Sullivan, around 54 per cent (5.78 million) of the cars in sub-Saharan Africa are over 16 years old, underlining the huge potential that exists for component replacements for this ageing fleet. Meanwhile, just four countries: Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco account for 65 per cent of all vehicles on the continent's roads and 69 per cent consumption of parts.
While American and European automakers are the most popular in North Africa, Japanese and Korean makes dominate West and sub-Saharan African markets. There is also a marked increase in the presence of brands from emerging countries such as China and India as global players increasingly target this fast-growing continent.
Among the leading multinational players looking to expand their footprint in Africa through their presence at Automechanika Dubai 2015 is German conglomerate Henkel, which will exhibit a wide range of sealants and adhesives at the show’s Repair & Maintenance section.
Roland Ghanem Marketing Manager at Henkel IMEA, said: “We have been participating at Automechanika Dubai for the last four years, and every year we are gaining new customers from throughout the Middle East and Africa.
“The show is particularly important for us in increasing our ability to share our expertise in providing the market with all-around adhesive solutions for the vehicle repair and maintenance market.”
Another German powerhouse, Schaeffler, will emphasise its strong presence at Automechanika Dubai’s Parts & Components section for the 5th year in a row, when it presents its popular assortment of gearboxes, gaskets, o-rings, shaft seals and main bearings.
Ioannis Marios Vrantzoglou, Managing Director of Schaeffler Middle East, said: “Schaeffler Middle East has taken part at Automechanika Dubai for several years to gain new deals, leads, and boost our sales activities. Our presence in the most important automotive spare parts exhibition increases our visibility in the Middle East and African market.”
Now in its 13th edition Automechanika Dubai 2015 has established itself as one of the world’s fastest-growing automotive aftermarket exhibitions, and is the second most international of all Automechanika events outside the show’s base in Frankfurt, Germany.
The three-day event features six core focus areas including Parts & Components, the largest section; Electronics & Systems; Accessories & Tuning; Repair & Maintenance; Tyres & Batteries and Service Station & Car Wash.
Returning is the highly-popular Automechanika Academy – a series of seminars and workshops given by leading experts and prominent industry figures. These seminars will focus on key issues that affect the automotive aftermarket.
The global appeal of Automechanika Dubai 2015 will be reinforced with the presence of 22 official country pavilions and 37 international trade associations, while nearly 90 per cent of exhibitors will come from outside of the UAE.